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Greek Mythological Characters & Figures

There are many Greek characters in mythology that have been popularised throughout history. Some of these characters include Helen of Troy, Midas, Icarus, and other well-known figures in Greek mythology.
Each of these figures has their own unique backstory and attributes. Many times, they appear and reappear in myth after myth, giving their character and backstory a lot of intricate detail and intertwining.
Some lesser known Greek characters you may not have heard of include King Alcinous, Medea, Deianira, Menelaus, Dido of Carthage, and more. Check out our articles to learn more about some of the Greek characters in mythology whose stories you may have missed!

The story of Icarus as depicted by Torre de la Parada in the 1630s. Source: Public domain

Dreams of Human-Powered Flight: Daedalus and the Story of Icarus

Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek mythology, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Within the stories of Ovid, Homer or even Pausanius, Daedalus...
The Pleiades

From the Ancient Greek Pleiades to the Hindu Matrikas: Mother Goddesses, Music and the Sacred Number 7

In Brihat-Samhita , Indian astronomer Varahamihira (505–587 CE) says that "Mothers are to be made with cognizance of gods corresponding to their names” leading to the birth of Matrikas (“Divine...
Medea by Artemisia Gentileschi (1620)(Public Domain)

Medea, Murderous Mother or Defiant Defender of the Oikos?

In his Argonautica , ancient Greek author Apollonius of Rhodes provides a rather romantic introduction of Medea as a young woman desperately in love. Unfortunately, this introduction quickly takes on...
Romulus and Remus placed in the river

Romulus and Remus, Osiris and Moses: Are the Storytelling Similarities a Mere Coincidence?

The stories of Romulus and Remus, Osiris, and Moses all share a common element. Why is it that the overarching theme surrounding ancient people and the start of their legacy is a male floating down...
Hercules and Deianira circa 1475–80.

An Unfortunate Fate and Nasty Gods: The Tragic Story of Mythical Deianira and Her Lover Hercules

Deianira became a famous heroine after the release of the TV show ''Hercules,'' with Kevin Sorbo, and the Disney movie about the mythical hero. Her real story, although still juicy, isn't the same...
Odysseus at the court of Alcinous

In Search of King Alcinous: Who were the Legendary Phaeacians?

The mythological Alcinous and his kingdom have remained one of the most mysterious and elusive topics of ancient Greek literature. Not much is known of this foreign monarch, or at least not much has...
Aethra Showing her Son Theseus the Place Where his Father had Hidden his Arms

The Legend of Aegeus - The Mistake of a Son and the Death of a King

Forty-three miles south of Athens, Greece, one can find the magnificent cliffs of Cape Sounion. This is a beautiful site with breathtaking sunset views over the Aegean Sea. Today’s beautiful scenery...
African queen

Dido of Carthage, Mediterranean Princess Turned African Queen

Dido, known also as Elissa in some sources, is a legendary queen who is credited with the founding of Carthage. The legend of Queen Dido is found in Greek and Roman sources, the best-known of which...
Pyrrha and Deucalion by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, 1655.

Deucalion Myth – The Great Flood From Greece

Deucalion was the son of the last Titan (god), Prometheus . According to Hesiod , Prometheus and the god Zeus were in conflict. Prometheus was the one who, with the help of the Goddess Athena ,...
Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons

The Dramatic Life and Death of Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons

Penthesilea was an Amazonian Queen from Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Ares and Otrera and the sister of Hippolyta, Antiope and Melanippe. One of many famous Amazonian Queens, Penthisilea’s...
King Diomedes leader of the troops and unsung hero. Source: serhiibobyk / Adobe Stock.

Diomedes, the Unsung Hero of Troy

Any Greek epic by the poet Homer should never be read quietly to one’s self but spoken out loud to all who wish to listen, especially if it has to do with the Trojan War. His epic poems sing praises...
King Menelaus, seen here finding Helen at Troy, is best known as her husband.

Why We Should Remember Menelaus, the King Lost in his Wife’s Shadow

Menelaus, the mythological king of Mycenaean Sparta, is perhaps best remembered as the husband of Helen of Troy. While lost in his wife’s shadow, his story is inexorably entwined with that of the...
Atreus and Thyestes. Two members of the House of Atreus.

The Curse of the House of Atreus: A Dysfunctional Family Taken to Extremes

The Ancient Greeks often spoke of the Heroic Age, when nymphs and satyrs cultivated the mountains and gods played with mortals. Among the Greek myths that take place in the Heroic Age is the story of...

Sophocles: Archetypal Master of Greek Tragedy

Sophocles was a playwright who lived in Greece during the 5 th century BC. He is one of the three Greek writers of tragedy (the other two being Aeschylus and Euripides) whose works have survived till...
Achilles and Patroclus: Brothers from Other Mothers or Passionate Paramours?

Achilles and Patroclus: Close Confidants or Passionate Paramours?

The true nature of the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus, characters in Homer’s Iliad , has long been a source of speculation. Were they friends or lovers? Brothers from other mothers or...
‘Ariadne in Naxos’ (1877) by Evelyn De Morgan.

The Descent of Ariadne: Minoan Queen of the Dead to Mistress of the Labyrinth?

"Mistress of the Labyrinth", "the Great Goddess", "The Potnia ." These three terms have long been used, somewhat interchangeably, to describe the original forms of Ariadne, a Cretan princess who has...
Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Homer’s epic Illiad tells the mythical story of the legendary 10-year Trojan War between the Trojans and the Greeks, which erupted after the beautiful Helen, wife of King Menelaus, was taken by Paris...
The Dramatic and Tragic Life of Ancient Greek Legend Daedalus

The Dramatic and Tragic Life of Ancient Greek Legend Daedalus

Daedalus is hailed as one of the most skilled artists and craftsmen in the Ancient Greek world. Said to be the son of the gods Athena and Hephaestus, as well as the son of the mortals Alcippe (...
The Amazons were a tribe of warrior women. (Atelier Sommerland / Adobe Stock).

The Amazons: The Real Female Fighters Dispelling Myth & Legend

Famous ancient Greek historian Herodotus once wrote of the Amazons - or as he called them Oier Pata (‘Killers of Men’) – a tribe of fierce warrior women. Though in today’s world, the name ‘Amazon’ is...
Midas and Dionysus by Poussin (1594-1665), showing the end of the myth in which Midas thanks Dionysus for freeing him of the gift/curse previously granted.

Everything he Touched Turned to Gold: The Myth and Reality of King Midas

Almost everyone has heard the story of King Midas, the legendary king who turned everything he touched to gold. But how much myth and how much reality is there around this character? Was there really...
Ancient Greek warrior. Source: breakermaximus / Adobe Stock

Agamemnon: Greek King, Trojan War Leader and Man of Power

Agamemnon is a major figure in Greek mythology. He was a king of Mycenae, and the supreme commander of the Greeks during the Trojan War. Therefore, he plays a significant role in Homer’s Iliad . As a...
Arachne and the Spider in Dante

The symbolic spider that wove its way through history

The spider is an ancient and powerful symbol found round the globe, and have always elicited a wide range of emotions in people: fear, disgust, panic, and sometimes curiosity and appreciation. This...
Cassandra of Troy is a tragic figure within Greek mythology. Source: Maksim Šmeljov / Adobe Stock

The Ignored Prophet of Doom: The Curse of Cassandra of Troy

Best-known for her prophetic powers, within Greek mythology Cassandra is a princess of Troy who lived during the era of the Trojan War. Her gift of prophecy, however, was accompanied by a curse – no...
Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy, The Beauty Who Sparked the Trojan War

In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy is known as the woman whose beauty sparked the Trojan War. But Helen’s character is more complex than it seems. When considering the many Greek and Roman myths that...